Head sommelier at Constance Lémuria explores the Syrah grape

With his passion for grapes and wine head sommelier at Constance Lémuria, Cédric Jacob shares his knowledge of the Syrah grape and gives his tips for how to enjoy the wine in the heat of the tropics.

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

The Syrah grape

With its creation of dark full-bodied red wines, the Syrah grape charms with its dark fruit flavours ranging from sweet blueberry to savoury black olive. Tasting a Syrah wine is like receiving a punch of flavour that tapers off to leave a subtle, spicy, peppery aftertaste.

Syrah tends to give its distinctive kick on the front palate and so it’s often blended with grapes that offer more to the mid-palate. In France, Syrah is traditionally blended with Grenache or Mourvèdre to create the classic Côte du Rhône blend. Some producers also blend it with Cabernet Sauvignon to create a more complete, rounded taste.

My Old World Syrah recommendation

Côte Rôtie, ‘Blonde du Seigneur’, Domaine Georges Vernay, 2011 – France, Rhône Valley

In what has traditionally been a very male dominated industry, Christine Vernay (daughter of Georges) has put her stamp on the French winegrowing industry with this wine. She and her husband Paul Ansellem run this tiny 12ha winery (mostly focusing on Condrieu but with 2.5ha of Côte Rôtie) with fantastic flare.

The cuvee ‘Blonde du Seigneur’ is a Syrah-based wine blended with a small amount of Viognier. The wine presents a fine acidity on the palate as well as lots of blackberries and raspberry flavours, forest fruit and liquorice. It is like a Provencal Garrigue with its subtle peppery notes. Deep in colour this medium to full-bodied wine shows a richness and terrific personality.

Constance Lémuria

Constance Lémuria

Drinking this wine in the Seychelles

Due to the high temperature and humidity I recommend drinking this at 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. It is better to serve this wine directly from the bottle to avoid losing the fresh acidity that contributes to its elegance.

My New World Syrah recommendation

Mullineux, Syrah, 2011 – South Africa, Swartland

I discovered this fantastic wine about 2 years ago on a trip to South Africa. Chris and Andrea Mullineux are at the forefront of the ‘Swartland Revolution’, adopting a minimalist approach to their wines with a particular focus on expressing the terroir, translating the granite and schist soils of Swartland.

This superb Syrah presents notes of black pepper, dark juicy cherries and a hint of smoke. This full-bodied wine offers a silky texture with delicate melted tannins. I am impressed by its long fresh finish with a kick of black pepper.

How to drink this wine in the Seychelles

Again, I suggest drinking this Syrah at around 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. A soft decanting is necessary but done very slowly to avoid losing the freshness of the wine.

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Chocolate recipes for Easter from Constance Lémuria

Our Executive Pastry Chef at Constance Lémuria, Yannick Tual has shared two of his favourite chocolate recipes for you to try at home this Easter.

Chocolate recipes from Constance Lémuria

Chocolate recipes from Constance Lémuria

Recipe 1: Easter chocolate cake

Ingredients (serves 4)

Coconut nougat sponge:

  • 350g egg white
  • 275g sugar
  • 150g egg yolk
  • 200g flour
  • 50g cocoa butter

1. Whip the egg whites and add sugar to create stiff meringue, then at a slow speed add the egg yolks. By hand with a spatula, mix in the sifted flour and cocoa powder.

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Bake at 200ºC for 15-20mins. Keep on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Chantilly:

Ingredients

  • 500g whipping cream
  • 150g dark chocolate (semi sweet)

1. Melt the chocolate and keep it warm at 45ºC. Whip the cream to soft peaks and then add the warm chocolate and stir fast.

Stock syrup:

Ingredients

  • 200g white sugar
  • 160g water

1. Boil ingredients together and then put in a chiller to cool down.

Cake setting

1. Cut the sponge cake in to an oval shape (different layers, different sizes from large to small to create an egg shape).

2. Start with the bigger layer at the bottom, moisten sponge with the syrup, then a layer of Chantilly, cover with another sponge layer and repeat until you finish at the top of the egg shape.

3. Let it set in the chiller for at least 12 hours then cover with icing and add Easter decorations.

Recipe 2: Half egg chocolate fondant

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 400g dark chocolate callebault
  • 300g butter
  • 2g vanilla essence
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 230g white sugar
  • 180g flour

1. Beat the egg yolks and whole eggs together with the sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and the flour.

2. Melt the butter and pour onto the chocolate to let it melt and then add the egg mixture.

3. Keep in a container in the chiller to preserve or you can bake it straight away in a mold for 12-15 mins at 200ºC.

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Ultimate luxury golf holidays in Mauritius and Seychelles

Discover the luxury of playing golf on the Constance championship 18-hole golf courses set in paradise Indian Ocean locations.

Luxury golf holidays at Constance

Luxury golf holidays at Constance

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Savour the elegant luxury accommodation, refined fine dining, sumptuous spa and numerous activities and sporting facilities at Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius.

Our two championship 18-hole golf courses The Links and The Legend are home to the annual MCB Championship.

As a guest at Constance Le Prince Maurice you can enjoy:

  • Unlimited green fees at both courses
  • Blocked tee-off times
  • Unlimited bookings for tee-off times before arrival with our online concierge service
  • Free club cars
  • Free club rental if required
  • A non-stop shuttle to both courses from 7am – 7pm
  • A limousine service to courses is available
  • Access to our Marc Farry Golf Academy
  • A weekly complimentary golf clinic with one of our Academy pros so that you can time your lessons for when you want them.
Lémuria's incredible golf course

Lémuria’s incredible golf course

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

The beautifully secluded Lémuria hotel on Praslin is an elegant combination of luxury and traditional charm. With beautiful accommodation, 5* fine dining and a soothing spa it offers a perfect island escape for golfers looking to unwind.

The golf course at Lémuria has been described as one of the most beautiful in the world with its terraced greens looking down over the stunning Anse Georgette beach.

The variation of the course will keep even experienced golfers on their toes as it goes from relative flat, tropical parkland surrounded by mangrove forest to jungle-clad hills making the mandatory club cars extremely necessary.

The famous 15th hole will take your breath away as you tee off from a spectacular height with views out across the ocean and watch your ball fall more than 50 meters to the green below.

As a guest at Constance Lémuria you can enjoy:

  • Free green fees
  • Golf equipment available to rent
  • Club cars available to rent
  • Pre-bookings of tee off times for the first 2 days of your stay before you arrive (for the other days, booking can be done on site with 48 hours notice)
  • Golf lessons for groups or individuals with one of our resident professionals
  • A ‘Discovery Package’ including a 2 hour lesson, a 9 hole lesson and a 45 minute massage.

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Romantics guide to getting married in the Seychelles

It’s not hard to picture the romance of the Seychelles’ white sand beaches and crystal waters but a wedding in the Seychelles could also be the stress-free option.

Getting married in the Seychelles

Getting married in the Seychelles

Perfect weather

If you’re looking for uninterrupted blue skies the best time of year to book your Seychelles wedding is from April to October. This is the islands’ dry season when it is not unusual to have dry spells of two weeks or more.

Perfect location

The Seychelles is world-famous for its powder white sand beaches framed by distinctive granite boulders, leading into calm clear waters. Anse Lazio on Praslin is often ranked in the top 10 beaches of the world.

Other dramatic locations for weddings on the island include its numerous picturesque Roman Catholic churches and beautiful colonial mansions.

Wedding planners

Book a wedding package at Constance Lémuria or Constance Ephélia, and one of our wedding co-ordinators will take care of everything for you.

We will plan with you in advance any personal requests such as flower preferences, cake choices and music. We can also organise the photographer, wedding video, table decorations, or even a live band to play for you.

Your day, your way

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Idyllic location: Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

By law you are required to arrive in the Seychelles several days before your wedding giving you the perfect opportunity to look at the wedding venue options and choose the one that’s right for you.

You can meet the hotel or resort’s hair and make up stylists to go through how you want to look on your wedding day.

Pamper yourself

Both Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia have a range of romantic private dining options, including in-villa dining, exclusive excursion and spas. Enjoy a Bridal dreams, Perfect Day treatment at Lémuria including a manicure and full body massage or take your partner and experience a couple’s aroma massage followed by a glass of champagne at Ephélia.

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Interview with Swedish chef Jacob Holmström

Jacob Holmström, the 32-year old Swedish chef was born and raised in a family of restaurant owners. Jacob is the owner of restaurant Gastrologik, which opened in Stockholm in June 2011 and got his first Michelin star two years later.

Jacob Holmstrom with teammate Sandy Sokalingum, of Constance Lémuria Seychelles

Jacob Holmstrom with teammate Sandy Sokalingum, of Constance Lémuria Seychelles

At the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau prize-giving ceremony in Mauritius this weekend, Jacob and his partner chef Sandy Sokalingdum, who presently works as chef de partie at Constance Lémuria in the Seychelles, finally learned that they had reached the second highest step on the winner’s podium.

‘Of course it is a little disappointing finishing second in the competition,’ Jacob tells me, ‘and saying that, I especially think of Sandy, who is a very talented chef, who ends up so close to the coveted prize of a stay in an European gourmet restaurant – and yet so far. But he is young, and I hope that he will be back next year. But saying that, I also must congratulate Masachi Ijichi and Dammika Sarath with their well-deserved win, which is even more impressive when you know that they had to work through an interpreter,’ Jacob says with a smile.

The past week has been a fabulous experience for Jacob – not only professionally, but also socially. ‘Among the many positive experiences of the Festival is meeting five very nice colleagues. And in spite of the fact that all of us have fought hard to win, I now leave Mauritius with five new friends from five European countries. The actual competition is unique in its format, and I have really enjoyed every minute of my stay, both inside the kitchens of Constance Belle Mare Plage as well as outside.

The location of the event is absolutely spectacular, the weather has been perfect, and the organisation of the competition flawless. In addition to having established new friendships, I also leave the resort with newfound taste buds and some new spices and vegetables, which I may well introduce in my own restaurant,’ the easygoing young Swede happily tells me.

I ask Jacob about his style of cooking. ‘In short it is simple, clean and focused on the produce,’ he says. ‘ I especially love cooking fish and shellfish, and in Gastrolologik we only use produce from Sweden – except seafood, which we get from the crystal clear waters of the Norwegian fjords. I find inspiration everywhere as most chefs. But the most important source is definitely the produce itself. And my 10 days of cooking and meeting new people here in Mauritius have definitely been inspiring in more ways than one.’

Interview by Peter Bojesen of Luxury Aficionados.

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Winners of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014

The 9th Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius has seen the finest Michelin-star chefs from Germany, Sweden, England, Switzerland and France team up with Constance island chefs in a competition that puts their skills to the test and challenges them beyond their normal capabilities.

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

FCBL winners: Masashi Ijichi & Dammika Sarath of Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The winners

1st Prize:

Michelin Star Chef Masachi Ijichi from La Cachette restaurant in Valence, France and Dammika Sarath from Constance Halaveli Maldives, have won the 9th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

The competition which took place at Constance Belle Mare Plage from the 29 March to 6 April has also seen the crowning achievement of:

2nd Prize:

Jacob Holmstrom from Gastrologik restaurant Stockholm, Sweden, 1 Michelin star and Sandy Sokalingum from Constance Lémuria Seychelles.

3rd Prize:

Tim Allen from Launceston Place London, UK , 1 Michelin star and Yogessen Ramen from Constance Ephélia Seychelles.

The other teams in the competition were:

Masashi & Dammika's winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

Masashi & Dammika’s winning main dish: Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast

  • Jens Rittmeyer from Budersand Hotel Golf & Spa, Sylt, Restaurant Kai 3, Hornum, Germany, 1 Michelin star and Dinushan Patabadage, Constance Moofushi Maldives
  • Mirto Marchesi from La Table d’Adrien restaurant, Le Chalet d’Adrien, Verbier, Switzerland, 1 Michelin star and Emmanuel Fortuno from Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius
  • Nicolas Masse from Les sources de Caudalie, La Grand’ Vigne restaurant, Bordeaux-Martillac, France, 1 Michelin star and Sasha Dinnoo from Constance Le Prince Maurice Mauritius.

The winning dishes

Starter:

Cold white coco beans soup, carrot mousse and marinated vegetables.

Main course:

Spices and orange marinated Duckling breast, onions stuffed with giblets, fruits chutney and sweet potato cromesquis.

Cocktail competition

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Cocktail competition winner: Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Ashvin Purrun from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Cocktail Competition held on 31 March at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

This year, three barmen from Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice took part in the competition. The liquors used were from Chamarel Rhum. The jury were Laurence and Joachim Louis representatives of Jack Daniels and Crème Chambord.

Wine competition

Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of the Wine Competition held on 31 March. The competition consists of finding the best wines to accompany the dinner which was served by Chef Eyvind Hellstrom. In competition were three Mauritian sommeliers who presented their selection of wines in front of four jury members.

Service & Art de la table competition

Benito Bellehumeur from Constance Belle Mare Plage is the winner of the Service & Art de la table Competition held on Tuesday 2 April at the Blue Penny Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage. He presented the most beautifully prepared table and the best service.

Dominique Loiseau, Mercotte and Isabelle Mobihan made up the jury.

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Wine competition winner: Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice

Café Gourmand competition

Pastry Chef Camel El Sherifi from Constance Le Prince Maurice is the winner of a new Competition the “Café Gourmand” that was added this year to the event and organised in collaboration with our partner Nespresso. Participants were the Executive and Pastry Chefs of Constance Hotels and Resorts and were asked to create four pastries to best accompany a Nespresso coffee.

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